India is a rich cultural and colorful country where art is considered as an asset. Dance forms are not just for entertainment, but often have religious, spiritual and ethnic values closely attached to it. This article demonstrates the beauty of some of the dance forms.

1. Bharatnaytam: It is the regional classical dance of Tamil Nadu. It’s an exquisite dance form with alluring poses, grace and expressions. Bharat Natyam has a connection with metaphysical element of fire that is mystified through dance, where movements portray that of flame. Symbolically, the Ananta Tandavam of Lord Shiva or Nataraj is Bharatnatyam itself. Some of the extremely popular performers are Rukmini Devi, Mallika Sarabhai, Dr. Padma Subramanyam, Anita Ratnam and more.

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Bharata Natyam Perfomance
Bharata Natyam Perfomance

2. Chau: Popular in the states of West Bengal, Orissa, and Jharkhand among the tribals. Its an old tradition of symbolizing rehearsing of battles. Enjoyed while festival celebrations, the whole community participates.

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3. Ghoomar: The social folk dance of Rajasthan which involves twirling in circles with faces covered in veils. With stunning colors and interesting dance form, this dance is a worship tribute to Goddess Saraswati or on the occasion of marriage.

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4. Kuchipudi: The classical dance form of Andhra Pradesh which is quite popular in the southern part of India. It is full of drama and character accompanied by Carnatic music. Setting a Guinness World Record of 2800 Kuchipudi dancers performing at the GMC Balayogi Stadium in Hyderabad.

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Deepika Reddy (musée Guimet)

5. Lavani: Performed on the powerful Dholki beats in folk theatres, Lavani is a popular dance form of Maharashtra. Dealing with subject matters religion, politics, romance, and more. Famous bollywood actresses take pride in dancing on Lavani.

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6. Bihu: Traditionally dresses and energetically performed dance of Assam, Bihu dance is specially done on the occasion of Rongali Bihu. Males and females dance in synchronization and is embedded in the culture of Assam.

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7. Garba: This traditional Gujrati dance is performed encircling the Goddess Shakti. It is also influenced from Dandiya raas and enjoyed heartily at Navratri celebrations by men and women. Teamed with chaniya choli, Garba is extremely famous in the United States too.

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8. Mohiniyattam: The traditional classical of Kerala, Mohiniyattam is one of the eight classical forms that has received recognition from Sangeet Natak Academy. Derived from the word ‘Mohini’ which means a beautiful girl, this dance was performed in temples in ancient India. On the rhythm of chollu, it has forty basic steps and enchanting white saree as costume.

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9. Kummi: This folk dance of Tamil Nadu and Kerala is performed mostly by women who often imitate harvesting activities. A historic dance form, Kummi is often done in Pongal and other festivals.

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10. Odissi: The oldest dance form based on archaeological testimony, Odissi has the recognition of classical dance by the Central government. This dance is fragmented into Bhangas and various sculptures of Odissi dancing can be seen in famous temples such as Konark Sun Temple and Brahmeswara temple.

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